I find it disheartening that Bath Iron Works and other businesses are reluctant to endorse a bill that requires 50 percent of Maine’s electricity to be generated from new, renewable sources by 2030 (“Lawmakers hear debate that shows sharp divide over renewable-energy bill,” May 7).

We have before us the specter of catastrophic climate change, and yet some are quibbling about a few cents added to our electric bills – increases that probably won’t materialize because solar is already cost competitive. Small wonder that schoolchildren are marching in the streets.

As for the other side of the coin, the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that energy consumption in this country increased by 4 percent from 2017 to 2018. In southern Maine, building permits are being issued at a record pace, yet most new homes are still designed to be heated by oil or gas, and insulated with rigid foams that have a huge carbon footprint.

As for the other key component of energy consumption, transportation, the short-term outlook is not much better, in spite of all the talk about electric vehicles. I made a count in the parking lot at my grandson’s Little League game and found that eight out of 10 vehicles were SUVs or trucks.

Something has to change. If the average Mainer isn’t ready to alter his or her behavior, then we have to rely on the Legislature to set standards that will get us where we need to go. Call your state legislators – please – and urge them to support an accelerated transition to renewable-power generation and, at the same time, legislation that helps Mainers reduce their energy consumption. And, while you’re thinking about your children’s and grandchildren’s future, urge U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, one of the few nonpartisan approaches in Washington to a sustainable planet.

Joe Hardy


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